IPOH, Sat.: Jul 26, 2008
Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin regards the decision by the federal government to allow the Terengganu government to keep its purchase of 14 Mercedes-Benzes, but only for guests, as a wastage.
He said it was a wastage to purchase the vehicles and then not to use them.
“We don’t know why the Cabinet came up with such a decision... it is a waste (to have) 14 cars, costing RM3.4 million, and then to leave them idle because it isn’t everyday that we have guests,” he added.
Mohammad Nizar was reacting to an announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday that the Terengganu government could keep the Mercedes-Benzes but the vehicles must be used only for state guests.
Speaking to reporters after the opening of the Perak PAS convention by party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang here, Mohammad Nizar said it would be better if the cars were used by the state executive councillors since they had to do a lot of travelling.
He said the use of other vehicles, besides Proton Perdana, should be allowed because of activities and usage which required hardy vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz.
He referred to the situation in Perak where three of its Proton Perdana cars were “over-used” and might have to be replaced.
However, Mohammad Nizar said, the Perak government had no intention of replacing its official cars with other models in keeping with the directive on the use of national cars.
He said buying Mercedes-Benz cars would give the perception that the government was not prudent in its spending.
“Although we have the allocation for purchase of new cars, which had been approved by the previous state government, we have decided to use the existing vehicles,” he added.
He said the state government would replace the existing cars only when the need arose.